It’s breakfast time at the Vancouver Aquarium, and this five-month Goeldi’s marmoset (Callimico goeldii) is dining on a piece of honeydew melon at the Aquarium’s Graham Amazon Gallery.
Look at the marmoset’s long and well-developed tongue. Many different species of marmosets, including the Goeldi’s, feed on sap or gum that ooze out of plants using their tongues to lick them off trunks, leaves or seed pods.
Some species like the common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) depend on sap and gum more than others. Animals that live in rich, diverse environments, such as the Amazon, where Goeldi’s marmosets reside, tend to have specialized diets that allow them to divide resources and reduce competition with other species.
In the Amazon, Goeldi’s marmosets eat a lot of fruits, fungus (think mushrooms) and insects such as grasshoppers and cockroaches. At the Aquarium, they’re fed a variety or fruits and lots of crickets.